Doing Public Relations a different way

As I sat down to think what I should write my LAST blog about, I decided to go with how fortunate and lucky I have been this whole semester.

My team is the BEST team I have ever had the pleasure of working with during my three years at Louisiana State University. We did not pick each other, but I could not have asked for a better team placement! Thanks, Dr. Moore! We all get along so well, I don’t think we had one argument all semester. Everyone has been so respectful of one another, a quality that is vital to a successful team. I attribute our campaign’s success to the teamwork and effort put forth by each and every member. Also, ML Woodruff was the client to have, and I am beyond ecstatic that I got a chance to work with him. He was easy going, but driven. He wanted us to work hard for the Istrouma Sports Organization, but he wanted to be a part of it every step of the way. Go ML! He got us involved in other ways, which I firmly believe benefited us and our campaign in the long run. For the most part, I think we had a fairly smooth sailing this semester.

Why else am I so lucky? Well, I’m fortunate enough to have a job waiting for me at Marsh Houston when I graduate. I recently started to realize how few people are in my position. The majority of my friends and classmates do not really know where they will be three months from now, but I do. I’m thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had, and I wish nothing but the best to each and every one of my friends and classmates. It is unfortunate that we are entering into the professional world at a time where the economy is in a less than stellar position.

I also have the greatest support system at home that a young woman could ever ask for. In recent months I’ve been asked multiple times “how much does it suck that your parents are divorced?” First off, I think that question is beyond rude. Secondly, it really made me think. I came to the conclusion that it does not suck in the least bit! Instead of two amazing parents, I have four. I have four extended families, which means I get to have so many more cousins!  I consider myself lucky! My cousins are my world. My family had some rough times in the last couple of years, but everything is turning around. We’ve had the pleasure of welcoming two new babies into the family in the last few months, and we’re expecting another one soon! I’ve learned that life is precious and we need to be forever grateful for the times we do have with our families and friends.

 

Dad and Kathy

Mom and Steven

That my friends is why I’m so lucky!

“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean

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Event Time!

It is finally here! Our long-awaited event is taking place on Sunday morning. As the event coordinator, I feel like I should be having a nervous breakdown right about now. I’m proud to say that I am not scared in the least bit. My team works together so well, and I feel like we have covered all our bases and we’re good to go for Sunday! ML has been a huge help, and I couldn’t think of another client I’d rather work for. Istrouma Sports Organization is truly an amazing organization, and I’m proud to be a part of the team. According to ML, our guest list for Sunday is looking great so far! I’m excited to get the ISO name and image out there and get more people involved. We have our door prizes ready to go, our event boards are ready for display and the food will be ordered today.

We have the games that we want to play with the kids planned out, and luckily ISO already owns all the equipment we need! We wanted to do games that focus on team building and working with others. We settled on experiential games; they will be perfect for what we want.

We plan on playing games with the kids while ML and his coaches meet with the parents and explain ISO, its mission and its goals. They will show a short promotional video and answer any questions that the parents might have regarding ISO and its activities.

In order to share our event with our fellow classmates, we are going to video tape various portions of it including the games and parents’ presentation. It has been a while since I used my video camera, so I should probably practice a little before Sunday! Also, we plan to load up on pictures at the information fair. ML and his team were able to provide us with a substantial number of pictures of the organization at work, but they could use more. I think it’s crucial to be able to share your work and your organization with others. Plus, people like to SEE exactly what they’re signing up for.

In addition to our information fair on Sunday, ML asked us to attend the baseball season opening ceremony on Friday. It’ll be another way to promote our event while also helping out ML and ISO. We also attended a summer camp fair on Saturday at a local YMCA to promote ISO’s Extreme Sports Summer Camp. It went very well! I think they need to reconsider naming the camp, the name is misleading…

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I started a countdown to my graduation around August. It seemed so far away with the 250+ days left. Now, I’m a mere 63 days away from graduation! I finish finals on May 8th, so I only have 53 days left of “school.” I could not be more excited! The last four years have flown by, to say the least. It seems like only yesterday I was running to make sure I got to Prof. Coyle’s MC 2010 class on time on the first day.

My time in the Manship School of Mass Communication has been enjoyable. I am confident I chose the right major, college and university as a whole. Unlike many people, I have another school to compare LSU to. I started out as a freshman at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. It was not what I was expecting, and I transferred out after my first year. LSU really has provided me with everything I was looking for in a college experience. I made life long friends and I had the time of my life. As a sophomore transfer student, I decided to participate in Panhellenic Formal Recruitment my first semester at LSU. It was one of the best decisions I ever made for I have made friends that will be my bridesmaids one day. My “big sister” is also graduating, and we’ve decided to be roommates following graduation. With that said, I simply cannot wait until May 18th!

I recently signed my lease for my new apartment in HOUSTON! The furniture and decoration shopping started already, which is probably not a good thing for my school work.  I have my new job waiting for me, and I’m anxious to get there and start. Unlike many of my peers, I am not going into the field of Public Relations. Instead, I am going to utilize the skills I learned as a PR student and work as a Property Risk Analyst for an insurance brokerage agency called Marsh. I came across the internship a few years ago, and I’ve loved every summer interning there since. My co-workers are amazing, and they are as anxious for me to get back as I am. As a Risk Analyst, I am going to be a mentor for the interns, also known as Summer Risk Analysts. I am excited to pass on the great knowledge and guidance I received from my mentors.

Now, the only things standing between me and my diploma are my three classes and the Capstone Exam. Yikes! I’m more than ready to take on the remaining challenges of my senior semester and college career!

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Our event countdown is officially underway – it’s only 31 days away! It has started to get a little frightening because ML, our client director, has not been very clear about what he wants and how he wants it down. We shared our event idea and decided on a date, and he said ok, but that was it. He took days to email our account liaison back about something we’re supposed to do on Sunday! Now, we only have a few days to get our survey finalized, printed and ready to go out to the congregation. I guess you can say we started to get a taste for what a “real” client can be like. I can’t say I necessarily like it, but that’s the real world!

For the event, we opted to host an open house after a Sunday worship service, offering free food of course! ML and Istrouma Sports Organization‘s biggest issue we observed is awareness. The number of congregation members who have not the slightest clue about ISO or what it is is staggering. We want to get the ISO name out there, and we want to bring in more kids from the congregation. What better way to catch parents’ attention than with free food after church?! At our event, we are going to have ML, various coaches and ministry leaders speaking about each sport, the importance of the spiritual direction and benefits concerning ISO. We are going to host a contest via Facebook to give away a free registration to one family, pending ML’s approval. Also, we are going to offer advanced registration for the Extreme Sports camp hosted by ISO during the summer. We  are still unsure if we will offer registration for any particular sports since baseball is already underway and it will be a while before any other sports start. We will also share about the First Base ow to Program.

While the parents are learning about ISO and how great it is, we are going to keep the kids occupied with games appropriate for all ages and playable in church clothes. While we would love to expose them to the sports included in ISO, we know it is not feasible since we are attracting them there after church. That would be a quick way to upset parents – ruin their kids’ nice church clothes! I found games that can be played in a gym, but don’t involve too much strenuous activity. We can do relays and games such as Gotcha! It will be a great way to get ALL the kids involved instead of just 10 at a time playing basketball.

Back to planning we go!

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Campaign Kickoff Time!

As we round out the 4th week of the semester, my campaigns team is kicking it into high gear. We had our second meeting with ML Woodruff, the director of ISO, last week. I left the meeting feeling GREAT about our campaign, and I can’t wait to get into the event planning!

I have to say, I was nervous going into our meeting last week and pitching my event idea. I know the Baptist church is pretty strict about certain things, and I was afraid our event would get shut down before it even started. Luckily, ML loved the idea!

We were able to dissect our research by talking to ML, and he is eager to help us out, which is great. Unlike many of our classmates, we can’t distribute a survey to our friends via Facebook or to our fellow students at LSU. Our target audience is not really in this area of town, and we are really geared towards parents as opposed to students. Istrouma Baptist Church is going to let us go in before and after Sunday service to distribute a hard copy survey to the congregation. We even discussed distributing slips with the link for those members who don’t have time to sit down and fill it out then.

Once we collect all of our primary research, we can really get the ball moving. In the meantime, I’ve started to plan the event, which we scheduled for April 1st. It’s approaching quickly! We are going to host an open house at Istrouma Baptist Church following a Sunday service. The open house is going to be geared towards parents with children, and we’re going to really get them interested in ISO. While the parents are occupied, the children are going to engage in various games in the gym. We are going to serve free food to all the attendees- once we decide on a menu for the open house, I will reach out for donations from local grocery stores and food vendors.

ISO is truly a great organization, and I feel fortunate to be able to promote it and get the numbers up. Everyone involved on the church end is great and beyond eager to help us help them. They realize the importance of teamwork, social skills and recreation for children of all ages. The sports organization encourages volunteers to come out and help the kids, and they are always looking for coaches. It’s time to put my “party planning” skills to use and show the Istrouma community what ISO is all about!

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As we round out the 4th week of the semester, my campaigns team is kicking it into high gear. We had our second meeting with ML Woodruff, the director of ISO, last week. I left the meeting feeling GREAT about our campaign, and I can’t wait to get into the event planning!

I have to say, I was nervous going into our meeting last week and pitching my event idea. I know the Baptist church is pretty strict about certain things, and I was afraid our event would get shut down before it even started. Luckily, ML loved the idea!

We were able to dissect our research by talking to ML, and he is eager to help us out, which is great. Unlike many of our classmates, we can’t distribute a survey to our friends via Facebook or to our fellow students at LSU. Our target audience is not really in this area of town, and we are really geared towards parents as opposed to students. Istrouma Baptist Church is going to let us go in before and after Sunday service to distribute a hard copy survey to the congregation. We even discussed distributing slips with the link for those members who don’t have time to sit down and fill it out then.

Once we collect all of our primary research, we can really get the ball moving. In the meantime, I’ve started to plan the event, which we scheduled for April 1st. It’s approaching quickly! We are going to host an open house at Istrouma Baptist Church following a Sunday service. The open house is going to be geared towards parents with children, and we’re going to really get them interested in ISO. While the parents are occupied, the children are going to engage in various games in the gym. We are going to serve free food to all the attendees- once we decide on a menu for the open house, I will reach out for donations from local grocery stores and food vendors.

ISO is truly a great organization, and I feel fortunate to be able to promote it and get the numbers up. Everyone involved on the church end is great and beyond eager to help us help them. They realize the importance of teamwork, social skills and recreation for children of all ages. The sports organization encourages volunteers to come out and help the kids, and they are always looking for coaches. It’s time to put my “party planning” skills to use and show the Istrouma community what ISO is all about!

 

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Campaign Time!

I am feeling anxious, excited and nervous all at the same time after our first client meeting. We met as a team with ML Woodruff on Wednesday, February 1st at Istrouma Baptist Church. Even though ML presented his organization to us in class, it was beneficial to discuss the details of what he and his organization are all about.

We asked ML several questions about his goals for us, his organization’s strengths and his organization’s weaknesses. Thankfully, he was honest and we have an idea of what we need to do and where we need to step in. Our main goal throughout the campaign is merely to increase awareness and participation.

Istrouma Sports Organization does not currently use any social media with the exception of Facebook. ISO’s Facebook page needs improvements. https://www.facebook.com/IstroumaSportsOrganization ML said he is not familiar with how to operate Facebook, but he was able to put a few pictures of the kids playing on the page. He would like to see more interaction between members, parents and players within the ISO page.

The website for ISO is laid out well and it is easy to navigate. There is one place we are not needed! http://istrouma.org/sports

As the event coordinator, I got a better idea of where to start when it comes to our event. On the same note, ML gave each group member a copy of the Istrouma Sports Organization calendar, and it was overwhelming to say the least. I am nervous about our campaign event, solely for the reason that there are few dates open for us. Also, most of the open dates fall on holiday weekends, so they would not be beneficial to us for hosting an event. Regardless, I am excited to start the brainstorming process and plan an amazing event for ML and all the ISO members!

Growing up, I played in a recreational ball league in my neighborhood. I plan to use my experience there to aid in the ISO campaign. Unlike ISO, our league was run by the parish; therefore, it did not have any religious affiliations. It did however follow the same guidelines as far as equal playing time for all participants and learning vitals skills needed for each sport. http://www.stcharlesgov.net/index.aspx?page=115

I also plan on using similar leagues to compare ISO to, such as the one found at Friendship Baptist Church. http://www.friendshipbaptist.us/cbl09.pdf ML runs an amazing program, and I hope we can only make it better! We need to improve ISO’s numbers and involvement, and we are starting on the right track. It’s time to get the show on the road! Batter up!

#christiansports #sportspr #batonrouge #kidsrecreation